July 21, 2011

A few headlines via DU today

("DU" meaning democraticunderground.com.)

Report: Obama top recipient of [Murdoch's] News Corp. donations

Political donations by News Corp., its employees and their families were evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with President Obama the all-time leading recipient, according to a report from the Sunlight Foundation. (More at The Hill.)
Cenk Uygur was removed due to "political pressure"; Phil Griffin: MSNBC is "part of the establishment"
After a nearly six-month tryout for the Internet talk show host Cenk Uygur, the cable news MSNBC is preparing to instead hand its 6 p.m. time slot to the Rev. Al Sharpton. . . . Mr. Uygur, who by most accounts was well liked within MSNBC, said in an interview that he turned down the new contract because he felt Mr. Griffin had been the recipient of political pressure. In April, he said, Mr. Griffin “called me into his office and said that he’d been talking to people in Washington, and that they did not like my tone.” He said he guessed Mr. Griffin was referring to White House officials, though he had no evidence for the assertion. He also said that Mr. Griffin said the channel was part of the “establishment,” and that “you need to act like it.” (More at The NYT.)

The "Gang of Six" deficit-cutting plan

Sen. Bernie Sanders warned, "The plan would result in devastating cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and many other programs that are of vital importance to working families in this country. Meanwhile, tax rates would be lowered for the wealthiest people and the largest, most profitable corporations." (More at Common Dreams.)
How to save $2 trillion

There are 23 million Americans who can't find full-time work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There are 50 million Americans who can't see a doctor when they are sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

There are more than 15 million American families who owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth, according to Zillow. That's almost a third of all the families who own homes.

* * * * *
I'll be honest – the federal deficit for the year 2021 is not something that I spend a lot of time thinking about, these days. But let's assume – arguendo, as they used to say back in Ancient Rome – that for some reason, there were some compelling, emergency need to work out how to cut $2 trillion from projected federal budget deficits over the next ten years.

I have an idea about how to do that. It's a very simple idea. In fact, I can sum it up in one word, with five letters: PEACE. (More from Alan Grayson at DU.)

New court filing reveals how the 2004 Ohio presidential election was hacked

A new filing in the King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell case includes a copy of the Ohio Secretary of State election production system configuration that was in use in Ohio's 2004 presidential election when there was a sudden and unexpected shift in votes for George W. Bush.

The filing also includes the revealing deposition of the late Michael Connell. Connell served as the IT guru for the Bush family and Karl Rove. Connell ran the private IT firm GovTech that created the controversial system that transferred Ohio's vote count late on election night 2004 to a partisan Republican server site in Chattanooga, Tennessee owned by SmarTech. That is when the vote shift happened, not predicted by the exit polls, that led to Bush's unexpected victory. Connell died a month and a half after giving this deposition in a small plane crash.

Additionally, the filing contains the contract signed between then-Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell and Connell's company, GovTech Solutions. Also included is a graphic architectural map of the Secretary of State's election night server layout system.

Prior to the filing, Cliff Arnebeck, lead attorney in the King Lincoln case, exchanged emails with IT security expert Stephen Spoonamore. Arnebeck asked Spoonamore whether or not SmarTech had the capability to "input data" and thus alter the results of Ohio's 2004 election. Spoonamore responded: "Yes. They would have had data input capacities. The system might have been set up to log which source generated the data but probably did not." (More at freepress.org.)
(Originally b&w image above by Ansel Adams, Internees Reading Newspapers, Manzanar Relocation Center, from the Library of Congress.)

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